Your Hair, Your State of Mind: Emotional Effects of Hair Loss in Women

Standing in front of your bathroom mirror every morning, you notice more and more strands of hair left on your hair brush. At first, the loss may not be noticeable. You may frown and wonder why, but with a busy day ahead, your mind soon shifts to other more pressing issues.

Over time, you’re still able to cover up the thinning area, possibly styling your hair differently or even buying a volumizing spray. However, at a certain point, you notice your scalp becoming visible. The hairs become further and further apart. You have a busy life, and doctors’ visits aren’t normally something you have time or money for.

This change in appearance is affecting your self-esteem. Even if your hair was never one of your favorite features, you now realize it really was your crowning glory. You may find yourself turning down the chance to hang out with friends or even avoiding going out in public. Hats may start to become part of your daily wardrobe.

It practically goes without saying that any sort of hair loss (or alopecia as it is known in the medical community) is cause for alarm; it is a good reason to go straight to your doctor and determine the cause.

If you get nothing else from the time spent reading this, it should be this: the sooner you are able to determine the “root” cause of your hair loss, the sooner you can begin to form a plan of action and cope with its effects.

So what are the emotional effects of hair loss in women?

  • Concerns about aging. We unconsciously relate our loss of hair with a loss of youth and therefore inevitable aging.
  • Dissatisfaction with appearance and poor body image. A change in hair or altered hairline can really change a person’s appearance. Perception of this change as negative can have a profound effect on a person’s overall self-worth.
  • Decreased self-esteem. A sense of physical attractiveness is an essential element of self-esteem. When hair loss occurs, it can rapidly lead to a negative opinion of one’s overall pride.
  • Loss of confidence. Along with embarrassment and shyness, hair loss can easily result in loss of confidence in women. Where we were once able to approach social situations, we may now feel inadequate.
  • Jealousy and envy. Coveting other women’s healthy locks is a common reaction to hair loss in women. This feeling of inadequacy can often fuel other emotional effects as well.
  • Introversion and depression. If left untreated, the emotional effects of hair loss can result in a woman isolating herself and suffering from clinical depression.

Each of the above repercussions is completely normal. Losing your hair is traumatic at any age no matter the cause; however, there is hope!

Medication, such as Minoxidil, have created new hope for women experiencing alopecia. You can also take heart in the fact that hair loss due to hormonal changes is often temporary. Even complete hair loss due to chemotherapy treatment is considered a temporary condition.

In the mean time you can boost your confidence by:

  • Shopping for a wig. It may sound superficial, but the minute that you slip on a wig you may quickly feel up to leaving the house again. Wigs have come a long way, and now even many acrylic wigs look very realistic. You can shop for a wig that closely matches your natural hair or go for a new look.
  • Finding a hairpiece. You can mask localized hair loss with the use of a clever hairpiece such as a topper for the crown of your head.
  • Experimenting with colorful scarves and hats. These can be worn alone or as a combination. You can search Google celeb looks and you’ll find that they are actually very much in fashion.
  • Focusing on your health. The only sure-fire way to give yourself the best chances of coping with your hair loss is to prioritize a healthy diet and get the right amount of exercise. Consider taking up yoga, which integrates elements of both mental and physical wellness.

Hair loss in women is actually much more common than you might think. If you or someone you know is suffering from it, the first step is to determine the cause. After a visit with your doctor, you can begin to cope with the emotional effects.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to friends and family about your condition, take the time to join an online forum or discussion group. Sometimes it can be surprisingly easy to type your feelings out anonymously. You’ll be amazed by how much support is actually available.

You can also consider seeking professional therapy to help you process your emotions related to hair loss. In the meantime, keep in mind that your feelings about the condition are perfectly normal. Breathe in, develop a plan of action and this too, shall pass.

 

Written by Nyima Bieber

Why Regular and Natural Detox is so Important For Your Body

The word “toxins” has sort of become the newest boogeyman in the world of health and wellness. People blame them for health disorders, stress, aging, and many other things, and there are many products meant to help you detox.

But why is it important to get rid of toxins? Does it even matter? Here are a few reasons you should detox regularly:

  1. Fight chronic disease — Diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and many neurological diseases have been linked to toxic buildup in the human body, so detoxing can help to reduce your risk of developing these diseases. Toxins can also causes these diseases to worsen, which is why it’s a good idea to detox regularly if you suffer from a chronic illness.
  2. Promote weight loss –– Did you know that toxins stop you from losing weight? Toxic buildup in your body causes your metabolism to slow down, and it can even prevent our bodies from being able to burn fat properly. By detoxing, you get rid of the toxins that are stored in fat cells and which slow down your metabolism.
  3. Improve immune function –– Toxins are difficult for your body to get rid of, so your immune system is often called in to fight off these invading chemicals. This distracts it from its true threat–infections and bacteria–and it may cause you to get sick. Detoxing frees up your immune system to focus on keeping you healthy and free of disease.
  4. Reduce signs of aging — When you age, your skin, organs, hair, bones, and muscles degrade, and that degradation is only made worse by toxins. Toxins can cause free radicals to form, and those free radicals can cause the aging to worsen. By detoxing, you increase the amount of nutrients your body can absorb from the food you eat.
  5. Improve the health of your skin and hair –– When your skin begins to wrinkle, fade, and sag, it is often the result of toxins building up beneath the skin’s surface. Toxins stop your body from producing the collagen and elastin that keeps your skin looking great, so it’s important to detox for your skin and hair’s sake!
  6. Boost digestive health — When you have a lot of toxins built up in your body, your digestive system is unable to function properly. You’ll find that problems like IBS or leaky gut syndrome are often the result of toxic build-up in the intestines or stomach, so detoxing regularly can reduce the risk of digestive health issues.
  7. Improve quality of life — When you use detoxing products like detox foot patches or baths, you reduce the risk of toxins causing headaches, sleep problems, joint pains, digestive disorders, fatigue, and so many other problems that can reduce the quality of life.

Need any more reasons to detox? It’s so vital to your health that it’s hard to imagine a month going by without a natural detox!

Written by Chris Miller

Fluoride: A Deadly Deception

Many of you, like me, thought that fluoride was beneficial. It helps prevent cavities, you need it in our drinking water, and so forth. There are many reasons to avoid fluoride, but I will only discuss a few of them.

  1. Fluoride does not prevent cavities. Dentists are trained to tell you that you need fluoride to prevent cavities.  I stopped buying fluoride toothpaste last year. Tom’s of Maine makes fluoride-free toothpaste for adults and children. My son didn’t have any cavities on his first dental visit. If you notice, all “training toothpaste”, like Orajel is fluoride-free. The label also says “Safe If Swallowed”. So, does that mean that fluoride toothpaste is NOT safe if swallowed? When I was using fluoride toothpaste, my teeth were prone to cavities. Streptococcus mutans is actually the bacterium that causes tooth decay. A friend told me that she recently started using coconut oil instead of mouthwash, and it appears to be working.
  1. Drinking fluoride water is not beneficial to your health. Again, fluoride water claims to prevent tooth decay. I’m going to give you the chemical formula breakdown of fluoride. It comes from Fluorine, which is a chemical element that exists as a highly toxic gas. When it reacts with water, it forms hydrogen fluoride and hydroxide.  In layman’s terms, I wouldn’t want to drink water with any chemicals in it. Use a water filter and obviously don’t buy the gallon jugs of fluorinated water from the grocery store.
  1. Fluoride has been linked to brain damage. Various animal studies have shown fluoride to affect behavior and learning by interfering with certain brain functions. With that in mind, studies have also shown that it can also lower IQ.
  1. Fluoride affects the thyroid. I know those, including myself, which suffer from thyroid issues.  Beside fluoride, there are other chemicals in the water, like chlorine, that suppress thyroid function; they compete with iodine absorption. The thyroid gland needs iodine to perform properly. My doctors haven’t given me a concrete cause for my thyroid nodules or prescribed any medication.

You may be thinking as you read this post that you don’t have or show signs of any health issues. Well, 6 years ago, I didn’t have thyroid nodules. There was a time when I didn’t have any health issues. Any type of preventive measures that you can take now will help you in the future.

 

Benefits of Maca Root

Until recently, I hadn’t heard of maca root.  I was working out with a friend. (Conveniently, she has exercise equipment in her basement). She showed me a bottle of powdered maca root that she had purchased from GNC; the label said that it was good for energy and libido. It actually dates back to ancient Incan history. I was intrigued. I tasted some of her grilled broccoli seasoned with maca powder; it was very flavorful, like stir-fry broccoli.

When I researched it further, I saw that it has lots of benefits for both men and women.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction and Fertility. As previously mentioned, maca root has been used historically to boost male libido. It improves sperm count, which improves fertility. One culprit of erectile dysfunction is heavy alcohol consumption; however there can be other factors such as chronic illnesses (i.e. diabetes), stress, medication, or injury.
  2. Endurance.  In addition to increasing testosterone, maca also increases endurance for athletes. As your energy levels increase, so does your endurance. (As an addition, I’m sure it will help your sexual stamina as well).
  3. Menopause and Menstruation. Whether we are childbearing or middle age, as women, we know that both of these can be a pain to bear (pun intended). Maca root helps to balance hormone levels and alleviate symptoms such as menopausal hot flashes, menstrual cramps, PMS, fatigue, and heavy or irregular cycles.
  4. Acne. Since most acne outbreaks are hormonal, it makes sense that maca would clear up this issue dramatically.
  5. Depression.  People that suffer from depression have low levels of serotonin in their bodies. Maca has been shown to increase these levels. Again, it all relates to energy. When you suffer from depression, you have little or no energy. It is difficult to get out of bed even if there is a reason to do so.

Maca is also called “Peruvian ginseng“. If you decide to try it, it is available in both capsules and powder form at any health food or vitamin store.

Natural Cures: Secrets “They” Don’t Want You to Know About – A Book Review

I am an avid reader, especially if it can positively impact your life. Kevin Trudeau is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About that he self-published in 2004. I read the updated 2014 version. It was very informative; I was very impressed with his personal story. Some concepts were new to me, and others I have put into practice as it relates to food.

The book includes natural cures for over 50 diseases and ailments. If you decide to read the book, don’t just read that chapter. Trudeau gives plenty of background information to help you having an understanding of the “real” truth. For instance, he discusses healthcare in America, the reasons people get sick, weight loss, and the reasons that people are overweight.

Whatever the case, you have to take charge of your own health. About 3 or 4 years ago, I started researching the quality of food and healthcare.  There are a lot of great resources in this book, but you’re not expected to follow everything. Eliminating one bad habit and replacing it with a smart one can make a big difference in your health.  The things that seem so simple and make sense are the most difficult to do. (I talk to people about eating green vegetables and they look at me strangely). I don’t get offended. I do it for MY HEALTH.   If you want to lose weight, feel better, and be healthy, your lifestyle needs to change.

Time for Tea

It’s almost the end of October. Soon, it’ll be time to turn on the heat and pull out our sweaters and coats. When it gets cold or if I’m under the weather, a cup of hot tea always makes me feel better. Various types of tea, whether it’s black, chamomile, green, or another variety, has its benefits.

  1. Black Tea. With a little honey and lemon added, black tea is soothing for a sore throat. Also, many Asian dishes have tea incorporated into them to enhance color and flavor (National Geographic). Also, black tea can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and control diabetes. Organic black teas are always a great choice.
  2. Green Tea. You can use green tea for cooking as well to enhance the flavor of food, like shrimp or rice. It also works as an antioxidant, lower cholesterol levels, burn fat, control diabetes, and reduce inflammation in the joints and digestive tract.
  3. Lemongrass tea. If you like lemon, this is very soothing for your stomach and helps to fight cancer.
  4. Herbal tea. Herbal teas do not contain caffeine. When you go to an upscale spa, they have a variety of these teas available. The idea is to relax. A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime will help you sleep.

If you drink at least one of the teas mentioned above, you should see a difference in your health.

Continue reading “Time for Tea”

An Alkaline Body pH can prevent a Host of Diseases

From General Chemistry, you learn about pH and its scale. All acidic substances have a pH ranging from 0-6; alkaline or basic substances have a pH ranging from 8-14. Neutral pH is 7, which is that of water. Your blood pH is typically ranges from 7.3 to 7.4.

For those of you that aren’t a science geek like me, you just need to know that body pH affects your overall health. In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Peace prize for his cancer research.   Normal cells take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. According to Warburg’s research, cancer cells ferment sugar instead, which makes an acidic environment. If you can avoid or at least reduce certain foods, beverages, or other toxic behaviors that cause an acidic pH, you can reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. Here is a list of things to try:

  1. Keep alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol is toxic to your liver in large amounts in addition to being addictive. However, drinking red wine does have benefits. In some cultures, they drink wine with every meal. For instance, in the early 1990s, French researchers reported the “French paradox”; the French eat a diet high in saturated fat yet have a very low incidence of cardiovascular disease (National Geographic). Drinking one or two glasses of red wine per day can reduce the risk of heart disease. Remember, everything in moderation.
  2. Stop drinking soda. I’ve stressed this in the majority of my posts. One of the ingredients listed for soda is phosphoric acid, obviously a culprit. See my post on Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda-Regular and Diet.
  3. Watch stress levels. Stress creates negative energy; therefore, your body is going to reactive negatively.
  4. Eat leafy, green vegetables, cooked and raw. Green vegetables are a good source of fiber and help eliminate carcinogens from our body. Eating one or two large salads most days can help the body heal itself. When you get bored with salad, try adding pomegranate seeds or red peppers (sweet or roasted) to them. Pomegranate seeds are very tasty and contain antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure.
  5. Watch caffeine levels. I’ve already discussed soda. I’ll admit that I love coffee, but I only drink one cup a day if at all. Too much caffeine can make you irritable and jumpy.
  6. Drink green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants and helps with weight loss. It is very soothing and calms you when you drink it hot. Choose a brand that you like. You can never go wrong with organic.
  7. Stop smoking. This is a given. I haven’t heard any benefits coming out of it.
  8. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. This is found in almost everything from ketchup, soda, BBQ sauce, and the like. Be sure to read food labels. This is designed for us to become fat and addicted to certain types of food.
  9. Reduce your consumption of processed and fast foods. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I don’t see long lines at the McDonald’s drive-thru like in the past. In a world of busyness, these are the things that we run to because it’s quick. A cheeseburger and fries is delicious when you cook it yourself or from a trusted restaurant. You know that the meat is hormone-free.
  10. Stay hydrated. Make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to prevent dehydration, for clear skin, and to keep bowel functions regular. I prefer spring or filtered water. Tap water contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, which you don’t want to drink.

Trying a few if not all of these suggestions should make a difference in your overall health. I lost 25 lbs. over time. When I learn techniques that work, I share that information with others.

Continue reading “An Alkaline Body pH can prevent a Host of Diseases”

You Told Me That I Had Cancer

Since 2009, I’ve had thyroid nodules. Before that, doctors always thought that there were problems with my thyroid function because of my big eyes and skinny frame at that particular time. My thyroid function is normal. Thyroid nodules typically are not cancerous, but you are closely monitored. They can affect your breathing and your ability to talk and swallow. I didn’t have symptoms, but I can look at my neck and see the changes in size. Surgery would be too drastic unless there was a real need.

I’m sharing my story to encourage those that may be going through a similar situation with their health. Each year, I either have a biopsy or a thyroid ultrasound as a way to check for any changes. Last month, I scheduled a thyroid ultrasound and my routine mammogram on the same day. There weren’t any issues with that. I was only there for an hour or so.  The next morning, 6:30 am to be exact, I get a call from my doctor’s office saying that the doctor wants to see me that day or the next day.

At 10:00 am, I’m at my doctor’s office. I knew that he was either going to tell me about the ultrasound or the mammogram. This is my primary care doctor. When he walks in, he tells me that he has bad news and that it’s CANCER. I’m speechless to say the least. He tells me that there’s nothing to worry about and that this type of cancer is curable; I would need to have surgery. He also said that it might not be cancer, but the radiologist  was pretty confident that it was since the left nodule doubled in size. Before I left the office, I took a copy of my results with me.

I had an appointment with my Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist that Friday. When he saw the report, he said that it might not be cancer; I had to be positive. He referred me to a very reputable cytopathologist for a biopsy. She was able to see me that following Monday afternoon. She performed another ultrasound before doing the biopsy. Since 2009, I’ve had three of them, so I knew what to expect with the procedure.

Yesterday, I followed up with my ENT. Because of my strong faith, I was not worried about my results. My biopsy was benign, which means that I DO NOT HAVE CANCER! Of course, they will continue to monitor me, but I’m fine. By the way, my mammogram results were normal. I have family members that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, so I take that test very seriously.  I do my best to take care of my body, physically and mentally. We live in a time where we need to be mindful of everything going on around us. Doctors aren’t always right.  I never took life for granted; I will get the most out of life that I can.